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There is nothing like waking up on a chilly morning while camping and brewing a hot cup of coffee. Honestly, the day is not complete without a “cup of Joe” to start it off. I learned to treat my coffee brewing system as any piece of outdoor gear; carefully chosen and tested to be a quality product which is portable, dependable, and effective. After years of poor instant coffee, broken French presses, and much research, I have come to rely on the AeroPress for my camp coffee needs, as well as everyday use. Let me explain why this simple machine is the perfect choice for both the kitchen and the campfire.
Highlighted Feature of AeroPress Coffee Espresso Maker
Though not as ultralight or convenient as instant coffee packets, the AeroPress is an excellent choice for a lightweight and portable coffee brewing system. The whole set weight approximately 13 oz due to its minimalist design and plastic materials. Each piece of the AeroPress fits into each other for easy storage and portability. There is even a hollow space in the bottom which will fit small bag of coffee grounds inside.
I have broken an unreasonable amount of French press coffee makers while out camping. I suppose it is fair to say that you shouldn’t lug a glass container out into the woods with you. I would also argue that just because I am camping, does not mean I should forgo having good coffee in the morning. Not wanting to break anymore coffee makers, and desiring to have quality brews while on long backpacking trips is what started my quest for researching other methods to make coffee while outdoors.
The AeroPress’ design includes three different BPA free plastics. A clearer copolyester plastic makes up the chamber and plunger in the press. I like being able to see into the chamber to assess how much coffee I added. It is also fun to watch the rubber seal plunger press the coffee through the filter.
A harder elastomer plastic forms the filter cap, and it has worked fantastically. My filter cap chipped on one of my most recent trips, but that was because I dropped it from above 1 meter, onto a rock. Regardless, it still works perfectly even with the chip.
It has been years since purchasing my AeroPress filter, and it has accompanied through many trips. I expect to have this same coffee maker around for many more years.
One of the cons of the AeroPress is that it can only brew one cup at a time. However, the small amount of coffee brewed can be beneficial, such as I have experienced with my husband. We prefer our coffee at different strengths, so with the AeroPress it is easy to brew each cup specific to personal preferences.
Sure, you can pack instant coffee packets, but often the quality of those packets are far less than brewing fresh coffee. If you do invest in a higher quality instant coffee, the cost can add up in the long run, not to mention all the individual wrappers that you have to pack out!
Instead I rely on the AreoPress for quality coffee on the trail as well as at home. It takes a little bit of practice to figure out your desired strength of coffee, but once you know your preferred amount of coffee grounds, the process is easy for getting a great cup of coffee.
*Note: I would not call the AeroPress an “Espresso Maker” as labeled on Amazon. So, for you espresso fanatics out there, the AeroPress will deliver a strong coffee, with a slight resemblance to an Americano, but not exactly an “espresso.” An espresso technically requires the water to be pressed through the grounds with 9 bars of pressure, which is impossible with this machine. However, it still produces a bit of crema on the coffee, and makes a rich and robust cup.
For the quality of coffee brewed, the AeroPress comes at an impressively affordable price. In addition, I spend less on coffee because I waste less coffee by brewing only a cup at a time.
The AeroPress kit on Amazon comes with several accessories that I found unnecessary. The kit comes with a scoop, stirrer, and funnel. While these accessories are fun to play around with they are certainly not needed to brew your coffee. The kit does come with 350 coffee filters, which are needed. After using all 350 filters, I purchased the reusable coffee filter which is made of stainless steel. I enjoy having the reusable filter as it is easy to clean, more economically friendly, as well as eco-friendly. Over time it will pay for itself many times over as I do not need to buy additional filters.
Ease of Use
The AeroPress is relatively easy to use. Again, when compared to automatic coffee makers or instant coffee, the Aeropress is sure to loose. However, I enjoy the AeroPress because brewing is a simple process with basic supplies. Below is the step by step process I use for making coffee while camping:
- First boil the water
- Place the coffee grounds in the chamber
- Add the water
- Lock filter cap with filter in place
- Flip the AeroPress over on top of your mug
- Press out your coffee into your mug
While this process is simple, it does take some practice. Occasionally, coffee grounds like to hide in the grooves of the filter cap, causing it to be difficult to lock the cap into place. When struggling to lock the cap into place, it is best to clean it out rather than trying to force the cap into place as the chamber is full of hot coffee and grounds.
Of course this process is much more difficult after a day of hiking when your hands are swollen, or when you wake up on a very cold morning and have numb hands, but overall the quality of coffee that the AreoPress produces is worth the occasional struggles.
This coffee maker requires very little maintenance or cleaning on the trail. The cleaning process is simply taking off the filter cap and filter, then pushing the grounds through and into the trash. No sloshing water around to rinse the inside, no excess coffee filters, no soap, and no frustration.
Brewing one cup at a time is not a problem with the coffee brews in four minutes or less. The brewing time is another situation that depends on personal preference. For example, I can brew my cup of coffee in about a minute, but my husband prefers to let the grounds seep for about 4 minutes. However, for a decent cup of coffee that doesn’t taste like diesel fuel, I recommend not letting the ground sit for more than 4 minutes.
Made in the USA
The AeroPress is made in the USA, which is a rarity for most coffee makers, and they offer a decent warranty to accompany the device.
- Easily Transportable
- BPA free
- Eco Friendly/ small footprint
- Easy to clean
- BPA free construction
- Made in the USA
- Brews only one cup at a time
- Needs to replace filters, or buy a reusable filter
- Can be difficult to fit the filter cap into place
- Can spill or be knocked over if not careful
- Requires some force to operate
The AeroPress has made me a believer in unconventional coffee brewing methods. I believe that you, too will appreciate this piece of gear for your outdoor excursions as well. Portable, easy to use, hands on, simple to clean, and affordable all are reasons that should put this sweet machine on your wish-list.